Innovative thinking is the key to progress. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or how big your business is, you need innovative thinking.
Innovation is based on creativity and creativity comes from creative thinking. Creative thinking means that you think differently about things and that you approach problems from new angles. It also involves phrasing problems and solutions differently. In today’s digitally-ruled world, innovation is the key to success.
So, how do you start this process of innovative thinking? It’s actually quite simple, but it may take practice to get good at it. We had a brainstorm session to simulate our points in this article, and this is what we came up with at Meet Innov.
1. Think broad and think different
It is important to identify the area in which you feel there is a problem or where some new ideas are needed. However, once you have identified the area or problem, try and rephrase the wording. Try to say it differently and try to see it from different perspectives. This will help you determine whether you have identified the actual problem or if there was an underlying issue.
2. Offload Unnecessary Work
Something you’ll learn, is that in order to be successful, you don’t have to do everything yourself. For instance, I hate accounting work, it’s for the birds. I decided to hire an accountant in Orlando and that headache was gone and has now left my mind. My goals are to generate ideas and money, not to do my taxes, and other accountanting related work.
3. Generate ideas
The next step is to generate as many ideas as possible. Involve different people at different levels in your company and see what types of ideas you get. Chances are, you may just get an idea that is completely different and completely innovative. By looking at different ideas, you will also find that you and your team will be looking at things around those ideas and the ideas in themselves will start generating more ideas.
4. Make a shortlist
Sift through all the ideas and see which ones are realistic, innovative, and can solve the problem in the best way. You may even find that there are different good ideas that can be utilised at a later stage or that can address another issue. Your biggest decision will be which one first.
5. Go for it!
Now, the fun starts. Start communicating with the people and departments that will need to produce or implement your new ideas. Make sure that you are clear. Get everything in place and get started. You should make peace with the fact that there will probably changes and adjustments as the process develops.
Innovation is an exciting thing. If you are starting from scratch, you can still follow these points, but instead of your employees, you may ask friends and family for their ideas. You may also need to do some research on fundraising for your idea to get investors involved. Train yourself to always think innovatively and you will always have something new or somewhere new to go with your business. For some further reading, have a look at this article about the 7 Habits of Innovative Thinkers.